This study was conducted to determine the proximate and phytochemical compositions of Vernonia amygdalina leaves, to ascertain its nutritional potentials. V. amygdalina plants were cultivated, and the leaves were harvested at maturity, cleaned and apportioned into two; one portion was oven dried whilst the other was air-dried- all to a moisture content of about 15%. The dried samples were pulverized and used for proximate and phytochemical analysis. Data collected were subjected to two-sample T-test of GenStat Statistical Package (12th Edition). Results obtained show a significantly (p < 0.05) higher crude protein, dry matter, and ether extract (fat) contents in the oven-dried leaves, compared with the air-dried ones. The leaves had crude protein contents of about 25.32%, similar to those of commonly used feed ingredients, thus, implying that it can be used as feed for livestock. Phytochemicals present in the leaves include Flavonoids, Tannins, Saponins, Phenols and Terpenoids, and these could serve as therapeutic purposes in livestock species. The leaves however, had no alkaloids and glycosides, unlike similar plant species in Nigeria, thus, its use as livestock feed would pose no health threats to animals. It is recommended that V. amygdalina leaves should be used in livestock feeding trials, to document its effects on growth rates and disease resistance in livestock.
Key words: Vernonia amygdalina, phytochemicals, mineral, crude protein contents.
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